A bachelor party is an elevated experience in life. By that, I mean, it’s a time when you feel like you’re on another level. It’s natural to feel this. You come together with, mostly, guys you have known for a long time, men you’ve shared many experiences with and men that you’ll have in your life for a long time. Because you’ve all come together to celebrate one of you taking that next step into marriage, it’s different from just getting the families together or hanging out to watch a game. No matter what, it’s a huge event and it’s something you’ll remember for the rest of your life. I’m writing about one bachelor party, in particular, because even though we expected to have a great time, feel like kings and to get a little shitty with our friend, Jason,` we never expected it to turn out the way it did.
On paper, it sounded like a great time. The fifteen of us were going to head north to Minneapolis for a Twins game and cocktails. It was a chance for us to get away from our responsibilities, (wives, kids, work, etc. . .) and to pretend for a night that we were back in college without a care in the world. Needless to say, we were ready for whatever the night had in store.
The ride up was as expected; we caught each other up on our lives, kids, jobs and plans for the year and then one by one the memories and stories from our college years started coming back. Through red faces and laughter, we relived every awesome and embarrassing story, again and again, as we made our way up to Minneapolis. What was a two and a half hour drive felt like a quick half hour and then we were at Target Field.
A quick trip to a rooftop bar killed the time for us as we waited for the game, which wasn’t anything spectacular. We had a chance in the eighth inning, but Mauer lined out to end it and that was that. After the game, we needed to unpack and regroup at the hotel. This is when Sam brought out a little surprise he’d been sandbagging the whole time. We were chatting over some drinks as everyone got ready when, for a second, all talk stopped. One second of holy shit silence was followed by a group of men acting like little boys on Christmas morning as Sam came out sporting a shiny, silver Busch Light coach jacket. Game over. We went nuts asking where he got the jacket, where we could get one, and what the hell was happening. With a hidden little smile, Sam pulled his duffle bag from the bathroom and dropped it in the middle of the hotel room.
If the night ended here it would have been incredible as a room full of mid to late twenty-year-olds tearing through a bag of jackets like little girls over boy-band memorabilia. Old Style, Blatz, Bud Light, Miller Lite; the hits kept coming. I was lucky enough to don the Old Style jacket that, by the name embroidered on the left breast, belonged to “Skeet.” Our night had now officially started. We had a mission, me, as Skeet, and the rest of the guys in their, now, shiny, nylon jacketed personas were going to hit the bars hard to celebrate our friend, Jason’s, loss of freedom.
A side note on Skeet: from the persona that just felt right, he is a good ol’ southern boy with a love for Kenny Chesney, America and hollering at the top of his lungs. It was disgusting and beautiful.
The change was immediate. As we waited for the bus to take us around the city, groups of people gathered to get their pictures taken with us. We were called awesome, sick, gross and a national bowling team as the people kept coming. With the addition of the jackets, this incredible night became even more extraordinary as we began to realize the power held in these shiny jackets. The bus dropped us off at Kieran’s Irish Pub and, immediately, heads were turning as we were swarmed by people asking us where we got the jackets, asking us for pictures and even offering to buy them from us on the spot. Old Style isn’t normally my drink of choice, but it was what I was drinking all night as bartenders and bar guests insisted that they buy me a beer. The same could be said for the rest of the group as everyone wanted to see the “Bud Light guy” drinking a bud light. We went from bar to bar and the result was the same. We also found out that we were catnip to bachelorette parties as well when it was, time and time again, insisted that we get a picture with the bride.
If you’ve ever joined in celebrating a bachelor party, you know how intensified everything is. You already feel like a big deal roaming around with your pack, but this was something else. If there was a way to feel like a celebrity, this was it. It was incredible how one little jacket grouped with a bunch of other little jackets could change everything so much. We were on another level that night. We floated above everyone else and, truly, felt like kings. I’ve seen themed bachelor and bachelorette parties and it’s been pretty cool, but the energy and the awesomeness had to always be generated by the group. We had to do nothing but put on some coach jackets and be ourselves and the world went crazy. In the months following, this was all we could talk about whenever we got together and I know that that night will always be one of the most fun memories that all of us will keep going back to.
If you ever get the chance to celebrate that special day with your friends, I suggest getting your hands on some of those jackets. One simple layer of nylon advertising a shitty beer can make the enjoyable night an incredibly amazingly awesome night.